I’ve been working on a series of environmental factors that you and your tenants need to know about. From asbestos to bedbugs, there are many things that can cause a lot of big problems. Carbon monoxide is one of the more common, but also, one of the easiest to avoid. As with other environmental issues, landlords and property managers have certain obligations to protect tenants.

There are several ways you can make sure that your tenants are safe from carbon monoxide issues. The CDC offers a wealth of tools that you can use, but also, here are some good tips for making sure the gas in your units won’t cause a problem.

  • Inspect your appliances before a new tenant moves in. Even if your gas safety certification is up to date, damages can occur that you don’t know about.
  • Give your tenants the manufacturer’s guide to their gas appliances.
  • Make sure that the person installing, servicing or repairing your gas appliances is certified and have them inspect annually.
  • Provide your tenants with advance notice for these inspections.
  • When an appliance does not pass inspection, disconnect it and get it repaired or replaced.

Additionally, make sure that you have battery operated CO detectors in the units. Instruct tenants on the proper methods for checking and replacing batteries. A good time to do this is during the daylight savings time changes. Put these instructions in your new tenant packet, along with instructions to leave the unit and dial 911 if the alarm sounds.

Also educate them on the signs of CO poisoning. These include light headedness and nausea, and if they suspect a carbon monoxide leak, it’s important for them to seek immediate medical attention. Never allow tenants to use charcoal grills, camp stoves, generators, or any other gasoline or charcoal fueled device in the home.

It’s important to understand that everyone’s at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. However, for unborn babies, infants, people who have respiratory problems, chronic heart disease or anemia can be more heavily impacted by carbon monoxide. Every year, the CDC reports that there are 400 deaths in the US from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s important to protect both tenants from this dangerous environmental hazards.

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Kurt Kroeck has written articles in real estate, law, and art related niches for a number of high profile publications. He is an avid WW2 re-enactor, artist in graphite, charcoal, and digital media. He volunteers in animal rescue and enjoys spending time with his children.